What delicacy to eat in Crete


Dakos salad

Also known as koukouvagia (“owl”), dakos is probably the most famous Cretan salad and is based on a local rusk topped with fresh grated tomato, and feta or mizithra cheese, drizzled with olive oil, and flavored with oregano.

Pies, bread, and rusk

Most Cretans knead the dough by hand. They prepare homemade bread and rusk and roll out the perfect phyllo sheet for mini mixed green pies (“hortopitakia”) and cheese pies (“tyropitakia”). These are mini pies filled with wild greens or mizithra cheese and fried in olive oil.   

For an extra sweet aftertaste, cheese pies are often sprinkled with thyme honey before being served with raki.

Fennel pie (“marathopita”) is a thin and round, pancake-like pie filled with fresh fennel.

Chochlioi (snails)

In Crete they love snails and cook them in countless ways. A favorite dish is chochlioi boubouristi, i.e. pan-fried snails with olive oil, rosemary, and vinegar. You will also find snails cooked with greens, which give the dish extra flavor and texture.

Homemade pasta

In the Cretan traditional cuisine, you will find many types of pasta in delicious combinations with local ingredients. However, if you want to try the authentic recipe made by Cretan housewives, ask to try skioufichta boiled in broth and sprinkled with plenty of anthotyro. 

Gamopilafo, the wedding pilaf 

The famous gamopilafo is a recipe served at weddings but is also often cooked in every home. It is rice that has been cooked in meat broth, seasoned, and served with plenty of stakovoutyro (creamy sheep and goat butter). Despite its simplicity, the taste of this dish will linger in your memory for quite a while!

Fish and seafood 

In the Cretan cuisine, you can taste delicious fresh fish and seafood. Mostly cooked with greens or combined with vegetables to make the delicious fish soup “kakavia”, it brings out all the freshness of the Cretan Sea.

Cretan desserts

The most famous traditional dessert is kalitsounia lychnarakia, a pastry filled with cheese (mizithra) and flavored with cinnamon and honey. They are traditionally made at Easter, but you can find them throughout the year in pastry shops and bakeries.

Another well-known cheese sweet pie with spearmint are the nerates pies.

Xerotigana are fried phyllo sheets, rolled in twists, and dipped in sugar and honey syrup. They are sprinkled with cinnamon and grated walnut before serving.

At local fairs you can also find loukoumades, served with plenty of thyme honey and nuts. 




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